Now that 2021 has come to a close, I wanted to look back on highlights from the past year. It was a rough 12 months for everyone and I figured it would be good to recount the happy instead of just reflecting on the bad. This list is in no particular order.
After spending half the year in Syracuse, experiencing an extremely warm climate again was welcome. It’s been so long since I walked around an amusement park that I had forgotten how fun it was. There was still a sense of caution however, as everyone was required to be masked, and hand sanitizer stations were placed every five feet. Still, feeling the wind on a good roller coaster could not be beaten.
For the first time in my life I experienced the establishment known as White Castle, and I have to say… I can see why there’s a whole movie about Harold and Kumar trying to find one for an entire night. This place had some of the best sliders I’ve ever had along with a milkshake so thick I needed a spoon to get through it. Also, they have better fries than Five Guys.
This was just a perfect film for me. As a person who loves Spider-Man like myself, this film felt like everything I could have wanted out of it. There were a lot of surprises that are a treat for fans of the franchise. Watching this movie evoked a childlike joy and hit me with just the right amount of nostalgia, and reminded me why I loved this character and franchise so much.
For the first time my life, I have been living on my own. Aside from getting a graduate education, I have been able to make new connections, both professional and personal. Coming up to Syracuse has been one of the best moves I have made, as it served as an opportunity to challenge and better myself in a variety of ways.
Over the course of the pandemic, like many other people, I had to come up with new things to fill my time since I couldn’t go outside. A hobby I recently picked up was building plastic models. It’s a time-consuming process, but when you can look at your complete model, it’s extremely satisfying.
Overall, this past year was tough for a lot of people and I know that 2022 may not be met with a lot of hope and enthusiasm, but I’ll keep powering through.
Jalen Wade is a graduate student in the magazine, news and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.